Hooded cardigan success

side 2

Finally! I’ve been working on a hoodie cardigan design for a couple months, ever since I saw a ‘maxi hoodie’ on Pinterest (below).


I simply cannot find a pattern to match it, but have worked with a several that have requisite elements. A couple of attempts later, my final design is based on the Vogue 9275 jacket, with the hood from McCalls 7634.

line v9275-side

Sewing notes:

  • I used a medium jacket (no lining) and size 12 hood. Incredibly, the necklines match perfectly, all the way down to the shoulder markings. So easy.
  • My fabric is a lovely Hacci sweater knit from Fabric Mart. Like many knits, it’s printed, and this one is solid cream on the inside. I’m super picky about having the wrong side of fabric exposed, because it can really detract from a garment. For a nicer finish to the hood, I faced it (just cut it out twice) in self-fabric.


  • And to avoid having the inside exposed on the front, I drafted facings for the front and back neckline.ย The back facing has the added benefit of stabilizing the jacket/hood seam, and the front facing will let me add a zipper in future versions.

facing 1

facing 2

  • As much as I like sweatshirts, I’m not always fond of their signature kangaroo pockets. I used a large patch pocket (7 1/2″ high and 7″ wide finished dimension). They don’t even show because of the print.


  • Last change, I added 2″ to the length of the jacket – mine is 36″ long at the center back, from the base of hood to the hem.




Whew. I’m so pleased with this. In anticipation of everything working, I ordered a great small polka dot sweatshirt fabric. I’m going for the whole works: ย a zipper, bottom band, and corded hood.

Bye for now – Coco


McCalls 6531 Jacket favorite version


Well, this didn’t take me long! My second, and very favorite , utility jacket version of this great pattern from McCalls.


This is my third version – here’s a look at the previous two (cotton/lycra twill and ripstop). They’re both a little stiff, although the twill is more comfortable than the ripstop.


This latest is Brussels washer linen, which is a linen/rayon blend, more linen than rayon. It is lightweight, rumply after 4 wash/dry cycles, and has a nice slubbed finish.

Fabric from Fabric.com

It’s light enough that I was able to use a drawstring in the waistband casing. I really like the way this looks.


This is almost as long as the longest view, but I took the curve out of the back.


A little blurry ๐Ÿ™‚

Some sewing notes:

  • I sewed the size small, instead of the medium.
  • The drawstring is 1/4″ synthetic cord. The pattern calls for 1/8″ cord, but that seems a bit narrow to me. And I only used it in the waist, not in the hem or collar.
  • I placed my casing about an inch below the marking on the pattern, because I’m long-waisted. Even so, it’s does ride a little above my natural waist – but it’s where I like it!
  • Once again, I made my own pocket, nice and big, and added a band at the bottom of the sleeve.


  • I used a vertical buttonhole that’s rounded at the top and bottom. And I practiced a lot to get the right size and thread tension.

buttonhole tests

Great lines and detail, I’m crazy about topstitching, so this was a lot of fun for me


Next up, I’m still working on a long knit hoodie. Wild things…


Ciao! Coco

McCalls 6531 as a utility jacket


My love affair with M6531 continues – I made this version with a utility jacket style in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

line art

Going into this project, I had no idea that what I wanted to create is often called a utility jacket – or work jacket. I kept looking at jeans jackets and stumbled on this style. Hundreds of image reviews later, I was ready to go!


So, typical characteristics of a utility jacket: sturdy cotton fabric (twill, denim, drill), hip-length, roomy pockets, some kind of waist treatment (casing with elastic, cord, or belt), lots of buttons, simple collar, set-in long sleeves, and no cuff. A very basic, made-to-purpose jacket.

This pattern has options for all of the above, but also has great sleeves and a pretty banded front band.



This Seaweed cotton/lycra twill from Fabric Mart is perfect for the jacket. It has 30% stretch horizontally and 20% stretch vertically, but does not feel ‘rubbery’. It’s very heavy, similar to a hefty bull denim, and does not wrinkle at all, no matter how much I mistreat it. It does ravel, so I serged all the edges of the cut pieces before I started sewing – it just makes the construction process so much easier and pleasant.


A few sewing notes:

  • This is the size medium – it’s a bit oversized, and I think I’ll use the size small for future versions.
  • I used a 90/14 needle, long stitch, and low presser foot pressure. No problems at all.
  • The seams are faux flat-felled, because the fabric is just too heavy for a true flat fell.
  • I fashioned my own pocket, which finished at 7″ tall and 6 1/4″ wide.
  • The waistband casing fits perfectly to the jacket. I opted for 3/4″ wide knit elastic instead of any kind of belt – no fuss!
  • I love the added detail of the cording in the collar.
  • I tried many many times to get a good buttonhole (on scraps!), but the stretch worked against me no matter which style buttonhole I used. So instead, I used six #4 sew-on snaps, topped with simple work buttons on the outside.
  • Caution – the sleeves on the pattern are quite short. I added 1 3/4″ to the sleeve, and then, an additional 1″ wide band to finish.




This color is difficult to photograph, but the last 3 pics are correct – it’s a great color.

And if it looks familiar, this is the same pattern I used to make my ripstop jacket (here). They look so different!


I spent days on this project, and it was so much fun that I’m sorry to be done. Ha. I have some sage green Brussels washer linen next to me. I’ll be cutting it out this afternoon, and I think the linen will be another look entirely.

Happy weekend! Coco

V9275 and M7634 Trying new patterns


I’ve been having so much fun with the 4.75 yards of jersey I picked up from Fabric Mart’s pre-cut sales!

This outfit is a combo from two patterns. The top, Vogue 9275,


And the pants, McCalls 7634,


Will I wear them together? Probably not, but I put them together here to talk about them.


Breaking it down, I just love this top! It has a really pretty and unassuming cowl neck:

Igram collar

And beautiful details. This is the underarm, where the extended ‘sleeve’ meets with the side seam:

bottom of armhole

The curved hem is lovely.


A few notes:

  • I sewed the size XS! and love the fit. It’s very over-sized.
  • I stabilized the shoulders for about 5″ with knit fusible interfacing.
  • And serged the hem and turned it up 5/8″, instead of doing a narrow hem. Then I used Steam-a-Seam in the hem to facilitate the topstitching.

This will definitely be repeated. It’s a perfect top for PJs, under a cardigan, or over leggings. Just easy to wear and so distinctive.

On to the pants. I bought this pattern from McCalls because I like the hood on the top. But the pants are great – slim and rather fun to wear.


It can be difficult to find elastic waist pants that don’t have a ton of gathers going into the waistband. These really succeed because the band is not elastic in a casing – it’s self-fabric, basically an extension of the pants.


I sewed a straight size 12, no changes. Future adjustments: I think I’ll add about 1.5″ to the rise, front and back. And tighten the waistband so they don’t want to slip down. Actually, I think fabric choice will really impact how they fit at the waist. This jersey is very stretchy, coming and going.

I’m not done yet with these patterns. Fall sewing – I’m going to use the jacket from the Vogue pattern, and the hood from the McCalls pattern, and make a long hooded cardigan in French terry knit. And that’s as close as I’ll get to sewing with a plan ๐Ÿ™‚

Ciao! Coco


Butterick 5504 Capris and shorts


Revisiting a pattern I sewed way back in 2012, the year I started this blog! I had forgotten the nice lines and spectacular pockets of these pants.


My 2012 version was View B, the capris, done in lightweight stretch denim, and I really enjoyed wearing them. So I ordered a similar denim from Fabric Mart.ย However, the fabric was such a disappointment. It’s heavy, stiff, and very stretchy, quite a bit more than the 20% in its description. Multiple washings didn’t help, and I really couldn’t think of any way to use it successfully.

Having decided that, I was happy to play with it. I started with the capri length and then took off 14″ to see the shorts ๐Ÿ™‚


Top: New Look 6150 in grunge burnout jersey


Just a few sewing notes:

  • This is a Connie Crawford pattern, and it’s described as ‘modern fit’. I’m not sure what that implies, but I like it. In the envelope drawings, the pants look wider at the bottom, almost like sailor pants, but they actually have a straight leg, as in the line art.
  • I sewed the size Medium.
  • Rather than use a drawstring in the waist, I added 2โ€ to the waist band and used 2โ€ elastic. I think 2″ is a little too much and plan to use 1.5″ elastic on my next pair.
  • And I used broadcloth for the pocket facing to reduce weight. Those pockets – such a nice detail.


Odds and ends:

I finally found the pin in the sewing room carpet that’s gotten me (painfully) several times. Wicked – it’s a 2″ quilters pin.


And I did a muslin of the Grainline Studio Alder dress, View A. I had to reprint the PDF and draft new tissue in size 10, but it was worth the effort.ย I love the lines and fit, it just needs a nice summer fabric and a little shorter length.

view A


I’m not fond of pointed collars, so I tried a curved one. Very cute!

Alder collar

In addition to playing with patterns, I’ve been very busy online, cruising the spring and summer collections. I always try searching on Pinterest, but it insists on feeding me shredded blue jeans, skimpy tops, bras, and makeup tips for older women. So weird.

Bye for now! Coco